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End of season review: John Carlson

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End of season review: John Carlson

Throughout the coming weeks, CSNWashington.com Capitals Insider Chuck Gormley will evaluate the 2014-15 performance of each player on the Caps roster. One breakdown will occur every day in alphabetical order. Today: John Carlson

Position: Defense

Shoots: Right

Age: 25 [turns 26 Jan. 10]

Ht/Wt: 6-3, 215

Games: 82

Goals: 12

Assists: 43

Points: 55

Penalty minutes: 28

Plus-Minus: Plus-11

Average Ice Time: 23:04

Playoff games: 14

Goals: 1

Assists: 5

Points: 6

Penalty minutes: 4

Plus-Minus: Plus-3

Average Ice Time: 23:57

Contract Status: 3 years remaining on 6-year, $23.8 million contract [2015-16 salary: $3,966,667; cap hit: $3,966,667]

Strengths: This was truly a breakout season for Carlson, who was given top-pair defensive duties alongside Brooks Orpik and responded with career highs in goals [12], assists [43] and points [55] despite seeing his average ice time decreased by 1:26 from 2013-14. The Caps’ new coaching staff wanted Carlson to break through his glass ceiling, with Barry Trotz noting he wanted to see Carlson go from being good to great. To his credit, Carlson worked with assistant coach Todd Reirden every day before practice on everything from off-balanced one-timers to taking pucks off the wall on his backhand. If Carlson continues to work on the little aspects of his game he can be even more impactful as his career unfolds.

Room for improvement: Carlson has a hard, accurate shot from the point on the power play but managed just three goals on the man-advantage this season. He still needs to develop a better power-play rhythm with Alex Ovechkin, who at times was handcuffed by the pace and placement of Carlson’s cross-ice passes toward Ovechkin’s wheelhouse. Carlson also led the Caps in giveaways this season with 88, while finishing fifth on the club in takeaways with 41.

Memorable Moment: The moment actually belonged to Nicklas Backstrom, but Carlson was happy to play a big role in the occasion. On Oct. 22, while the Caps were on a power play against the Edmonton Oilers, Carlson took a return pass from Backstrom and blasted an off-balanced shot past Oilers goalie Ben Scrivens. The goal gave Backstrom his 500th NHL point.

Quotable: “I’m doing whatever I can to get better every day, that’s always been my goal and I want to stick to it as much as possible. The schedule is crazy, so whenever I can get a chance I do it. A couple minutes a day isn’t going to make me a superstar, but it helps my game.” – Carlson on extra work with Todd Reirden

2015-16 Expectations: If Mike Green is no longer in Washington, look for Carlson to have an even bigger bite on the Caps’ power play next. His shot is too good for him not to use it on a more regular basis. Playing alongside Orpik has allowed Carlson to play a more offensive role and that should continue next season, when he tries to become the Capitals’ all-time iron man. With 376 consecutive games, Carlson needs 47 more games to pass Bobby Carpenter’s franchise record of 422.  

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NHL Stanley Cup Final 2018: Capitals vs. Golden Knights full schedule announced, date, time, TV channel, how to watch

NHL Stanley Cup Final 2018: Capitals vs. Golden Knights full schedule announced, date, time, TV channel, how to watch

The Washington Capitals and Vegas Golden Knights are the only two hockey teams left standing and will meet to decide the 2017-18 NHL Stanley Cup champion.

The Capitals advanced to the Stanley Cup Final for the first time since 1998, thanks to a 4-0 victory over the Tampa Bay Lightning in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Final.

The Golden Knights, in their inaugural season, shocked the NHL world, defeating the Los Angeles Kings, San Jose Sharks and Winnipeg Jets to become the first team in major American professional sports history to reach the championship game in the franchise's first season.

The Capitals and Golden Knights met twice during the regular season, with Vegas coming out on top in both games. The Golden Knights blanked the Caps 3-0 in the Caps' first trip to Sin City, and bested the Caps 4-3 at Capital One Arena on Feb. 4.

Game 1 of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Capitals and Golden Knights takes place on Monday, May 28 at 8:00 p.m. ET on NBC and is available to be streamed online by using the NBC Sports App.

NBC Sports Washington will broadcast pre and postgame coverage of the 2018 NHL Stanley Cup Final between the Capitals and Golden Knights,  with Caps FaceOff and Caps GameTime preceding Capitals vs. Golden Knights puck drop and Caps Extra and Caps OverTime following the end of each game. 

2018 STANLEY CUP FINAL HOW TO WATCH

Game 1: Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Monday, May 28
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 2: Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Wednesday, May 30
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBCSN
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 3: Golden Knights at Capitals
Date: Saturday, June 2
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: Capital One Arena. Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBCSN
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 4: Golden Knights at Capitals
Date: Monday, June 4
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: Capital One Arena. Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 5 (If Necessary): Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Thursday, June 7
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 6 (If Necessary): Golden Knights at Capitals
Date: Sunday, June 10
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: Capital One Arena. Washington, D.C.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)

Game 7 (If Necessary): Capitals at Golden Knights
Date: Wednesday, June 13
Time: 8:00 p.m. ET 
Location: T-Mobile Arena, Las Vegas, Nev.
TV Channel: NBC 
How To Watch Live StreamingNBC Sports App Live Stream
Radio: Capitals Radio Network (106.7 The Fan)
 

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Alex Ovechkin scored the goal that sent the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Final

Alex Ovechkin scored the goal that sent the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Final

On June 4, 1998, Joe Juneau scored the biggest goal in the history of the Washington Capitals.

In Game 6 of the Eastern Conference Final, Juneau attacked the crease and shot in a rebound past a helpless Dominik Hasek in overtime to defeat the Buffalo Sabres and win the Eastern Conference.

That goal sent the Capitals to its first and, before 2018, only Stanley Cup Final.

Alex Ovechkin’s name was already etched in the history books for the Capitals several times over, but on Wednesday he added it again with the biggest goal of his career. His goal in Game 7 stood as the game-winner meaning it was the goal that sent the Capitals to their second Cup Final.

You can watch it here:

It did not come in overtime and was not quite as dramatic as Juneau’s. In fact, no one knew the significance of the goal at the time. It came just 62 seconds into the contest. It was a significant goal, but no one realized right away that it would be an historic one.

How fitting is it that Ovechkin scored the game-winner? Ovechkin -  who this team was built around - who reignited the franchise and built Washington into a hockey city. After all the criticism over the years, all the talk about how he can’t win, all talk about how the team should take away the C and all the talk about how the Caps should trade him and start over, this goal was not just a moment of history, but one of vindication.

When we look back on Ovechkin’s career, at all the individual awards and accomplishments, this one single goal will stand above the rest. This was the biggest game of his career and he scored the biggest goal of his career just 62 seconds in.

There’s one way he can top that: lead the Caps past Vegas for their first Stanley Cup.

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